The Lives Of Harry Lime (1951 -1952)
- Public Domain
These files have been updated with a higher quality set. August 2011
Provided by Times Past
- 2006-10-04 19:56:20
Subject: Shakespeare Rewritten by Ogilvy & Mathers?
NO, the writing content, is not nearly up to the standards of the Film, "The Third Man".
Let us not forget that Harry Lime was not exactly a "lovable rogue" in the flick. Alas, he was an interesting character with great substance and humour. In the radio show he almost does not resemble the movie character.
Remember that the movie Harry Lime was being hunted for, among other things, selling adulterated and diluted antibiotics on the back market in post-war Vienna. Harry's scheme resulted in many children dying and or being needlessly crippled., hence forever defining his movie character as a true villain, but an interesting and three-dimensional character. "Lovable rogue"? —Well, each of us have our own mores. Regardless,. The movie "The third man" was an an outstanding writing, directing and acting tour de force , —far ahead of it's time. The film is considered by many to be wither the greatest film ever made or the greatest film after "Citizen Kane". To garner such praise requires a serious effort in writing, and the other cinematic arts.
The radio programmer, "The Lives of Harry Lime" is, at best, occasionally mildly amusing, but on the whole, fiercely tiresome. The acting is not the culprit. No, the villain here is not even Harry Lime himself, but but the insipid, watered-down, non-substrancial writing that allows a great cinematic character to be diluted into a dull, nearly lifeless, pointless and cleansed remake of the film character.
Many people who did not see the film, thought the radio show was pretty good. Once they saw the film, as a rule, they were confused and angry.
When I first saw that these programmes existed, I was overjoyed and listened to many of them with great anticipation that was disappointed time and time again. Worse, it is obvious that Orson Wells agreed to this project simply to earn much needed money after he was black-listed by Hearst. Poor, drunken Mr. Wells spent the remainder of his bloated life, making such rubbish in an effort to raise the money to make more films as good as Citizen Kane.
So, you still like this radio series. Fine, but do not delude yourself into believing this has anything to do with the movie "The Third Man". Mr. Wells thought this programme to be even more insipid than I.
Every time I listen to one of these programmes, I almost cry because they are such an atrocious attempt at making money by selling a diluted and dangerous product; —much as the original harry Lime does in the movie. A better programme would reveal the behind the scenes mendacity that was required to bring such a insubstantial piece of drivel to network radio.
Surely there was a REAL LIFE Harry Lime behind the production of this commercial, faceless rubbish, —and whom ever he was, he was a far more interesting rogue than the movie version of Harry Lime!
Well, at least we get to hear Anton Karas' great zither music score.
Subject: Well worth it
The earlier episodes take themselves far too seriously, but by the time an episode like "The Dead Candidate" rolls around, "The Lives of Harry Lime" is flat-out comedy. As noted elsewhere, the same source material was used here for an episode ("Horse Play") as the 1973 film "The Sting."
There are loads of wacky accents, cartoon villains, mysterious Arabs and femme fatales. Those looking for political correctness regarding ethnic and gender stereotypes should look elsewhere, although the later episodes are performed so tongue-in-cheek it's hard to take offense. By the end of the run the tone gets close to Firesign Theater "Nick Danger" territory.
Considering their age, sound quality of the transfers is good. As the cast members other than Welles are not named, it is fun to pick out the voices of old pros like Sebastian Cabot. All told, this series is well worth listening to.
Subject: Catch me if you can ....
Harry Lime ....
Every man want to be him ....
Every woman wants to kiss him ....
Every cop wants to catch him.
Sounds like an earlier version of
"catch me if you can"
Now as I spend my life traveling the world I have added 4 new places to visit based on Harry's wanderlust adventures. I just wish I could meet the femme fatale that Harry lime has left broken heart in his wake. Chasing the cash .... finding romance .... but never forgetting the con.
Now I understand why Orson Wells had such a superstar status in Hollywood.
Subject: OTR Shows
When you concentrate on the shows the time flies by.I am talking about trips that take hours (8 - 16 hours) I am now 70 years old and still enjoy them. TV stinks it dulls your imagination, OTR allows you mind to relax and mentally visualize what you are hearing. Thank God for OTR and saving the Radio Shows. Chickenman PFD E-31
Subject: Have A Conversation with Harry Lime!!
(His lines fit between yours, where the asterisks (*) are.
And he wouldn't mind overlapping dialogue.)
(BANG!!) What was THAT...?! * Where did he die? * Oh, yeah, I saw the movie. So they killed him, huh...? * What d'you mean by that? * Oh, yeah? How do YOU know? * Well, tell me! * A g-g-g-g-ghost!!
Been doing it for years. 'Coz I'm crazy... about this show!!
And that zither thither..!!
Anyway, my favorite eps include "Operation: Music Box", "Voodoo", "Horse Play", "It's a Knockout" & "Violets, Sweet Violets".
Mention some of yours.
Edit: Yes, I realize I sound like an ingrate. SO a point upgrade. THANK YOU for sharing these. That means a great deal to a site such as this, simply bringing it to the rest of us. Again, Thanks.
Subject: These are fine
Subject: Love This
Subject: A good show about a bad person
I must have taken some nerve to center a series around an unlikeable person. Harry Lime is greedy, mercenary, treacherous and just plain rude.
And, it should be mentioned -- very sexist. It's hard to call him misogynistic since he absolutely loves women but he treats them horribly! (And the show itself seems sexist, not just his character.)
The other flaw is the misportrayal of foreign cultures, accents, believes etc. This is a major flaw for a show that is supposed to be international. For me, anyway, this was more laughable than offensive.
But, the stories are interesting and it takes place at a time in European history that really sparks the imagination. And, thanks much to Orson Wells' extraordinary talent, you start to like the Harry Lime character despite his flaws.
Subject: Fantastic shows
Subject: new upload is a HUGE improvement! Thanks very much!
The writing is top-notch in this series, full of surprises, and there are occasional double double crosses that leave the hero 'losing a round'.
Subject: Very enjoyable!
If someone is really upset with the sound quality, they can clean it up themselves with a program like Audacity and post that improved sound file to the archive. I'm sure such efforts would be appreciated, if not financially rewarded.
As far as this series goes, it's top-notch all the way, with great and fluid performances by Welles and supporting cast.
Subject: Harry Lime - Worth your time! Forget the Whine!!
Subject: Harry Lime -- great but a little sour
I found a few of these episodes, three at 64kbs and some 32 & 24, on a different IA page, "Harry Lime with Orson Welles." At least the 64kbs ones seem much better.
Subject: Among Welles' best
Subject: That was the shot that killed Harry Lime
Subject: The third lime
Subject: Suck on a Lime !
Welles roguishly twinkles throughout.
Poor sound, though the stories are so entertaining you forget about this one negative.
Subject: Harry Lime
Great job and Thank You!!!
Subject: I Also enjoy the free versions too
Subject: Considering that the episodes are more than half a century old
Subject: poor sound quality
Subject: The Lives of Harry Lime
Orson Welles stars as Harry Lime, a perpetually broke confidence man, smuggler, and general scoundrel. He will participate in virtually any criminal activity to make a fast buck, but uses his wits rather than a gun. He draws the line short of murder, blackmail, or drugs.
Even so, Harry is an endearing character and listeners love to hear of his one-step-ahead-of-the-law misadventures as he hops around the globe looking for his next pigeon.
The zither music of Anton Karas adds a wonderful Viennese ambience.
Each episode would begin with "The Third Man Theme" being played, abruptly cut off by an echoing gunshot. Then Welles would speak: "That was the shot that killed Harry Lime. He died in a sewer beneath Vienna, as those of you know who saw the movie 'The Third Man'. Yes, that was the end of Harry Lime... but it was not the beginning. Harry Lime had many lives... and I can recount all of them. How do I know? Very simple. Because my name is Harry Lime."
Although often cited as a BBC production, the series was one of a number produced and distributed independently by the prolific Harry Alan Towers. Only ten of the episodes were acquired and broadcast by the BBC in the UK. It was the first time that the BBC broadcast episodes of a dramatic series that it did not produce. The full series was syndicated to radio stations in the U.S.
Subject: Great Stuff
Subject: Just one download
Subject: a thousand downloads?
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